The recent troubles have taken a toll on each and all of us. I, who had never raised a fisted hand against another, now carry three revolvers; one holstered on my hip and two in pommel holsters on my saddle, in case you might measure me at a distance by my colors, as my old mare moves slowly up the corduroy road on the last day of May; a hot afternoon. Her pace is just enough to lift a breeze above the dust, and her hooves on the wood, work a lullaby rhythm. High to the west, is the sugarloaf mountain, but, closer, I catch sight of a young groundhog standing in the new corn, both only two hands high; both searching the sky for a taste of rain. The old mare knows the high clouds have none; she waits for a drink from Bennett's creek. Along the east side of the road, an oriole savors the honeysuckle blooms on the remnants of a split rail, its scent a brief kiss from a childhood sweetheart, and I dream in the afternoon of a brown-eyed Susan, while the old mare moves slowly up the corduroy road, away from the troubles, and every day, closer to home.